The question involved on this appeal, as stated in briefs of appellant and of appellee, substantially the same, as framed by appellant, reads: “Is an inmate of the Umstead Youth Center, who performs duties assigned to him, a State employee within the meaning *332of tbe language used in tbe Tort Claims Act, codified as Article 31 of Chapter 143 of tbe General Statutes of North Carolina?”
In this connection it is noted that tbe Tort Claims Act, Section One of Chapter 1059, of 1951 Session Laws, codified as above stated, constitutes tbe North Carolina Industrial Commission a court for tbe purpose of bearing and passing upon claims against tbe State Board of Education, tbe State Highway and Public Works Commission, and all other departments, institutions, and agencies of tbe State, and prescribes tbe machinery by which claims may be presented, considered and determined, and describes claims which are recognized as enforceable against such State agencies. And “when tbe State gives statutory consent to be sued, it may prescribe such modes, terms and conditions as it sees fit, subject of course, to any limitation or restriction in this regard in its own Constitution. It may . . . limit tbe right to sue to certain specific causes, and when it does so it can be sued only in tbe manner and upon tbe terms and conditions prescribed.” 49 Am. Jur. 315, States, Territories and Dependencies, See. 97.
Tbe Industrial Commission is empowered to “determine whether or not each individual claim arose as a result of a negligent act of a State employee while acting within the scope of his employment and without contributory negligence on the part of the claimant or the person in whose behalf the claim is asserted”; and “if the Commission finds that there was such negligence on the part of a State employee while acting within the scope of his employment which was the proximate cause of his injury and that there was no contributory negligence on the part of the claimant or the person in whose behalf the claim is asserted, the Commission shall determine the amount of damages which the claimant is entitled to be paid . . . and by appropriate order direct .the payment of such damages by the department, institution or agency concerned . . . .” G.S. 143-291.
The wording in the statute is clear, certain and intelligible. Therefore, the words used must be given their natural or ordinary meaning. Borders v. Cline, 212 N.C. 472, 193 S.E. 826; Cab Co. v. Charlotte, 234 N.C. 572, 68 S.E. 2d, 433, and cases cited therein.
In the Cab Company case, Johnson, J., stated that “it is an accepted rule of statutory construction that ordinarily words of a statute will be given their natural, approved, and recognized meaning.”
Thus it appears basically that a claim, to be recognizable within the purview of the Tort Claims Act, must arise “as a result of a negligent act of a State employee while acting within the scope of his employment.” Manifestly, the word “employee” in the connection used, means “one who works for wages or salary in the service of an employer”— Webster’s New International Dictionary. The relation of employer and *333employee is essentially contractual in its nature, and is to be determined by the rules governing the establishment of contracts, express or implied. Hollowell v. Dept. of Conservation and Development, 206 N.C. 206, 173 S.E. 603. And the word “employment” indicates a contractual relationship. These words are found in common use in statutes in this State, and decisions of this Court. Hence, it will be assumed that the General Assembly intended to give to them their ordinary meaning.
The question now arises as to whether an inmate of the “Umstead Youth Center” is an employee of the State. To answer this question it is necessary to determine what is the “Umstead Youth Center.” The stipulation of the parties describes it as an “agency of the State of North Carolina.” But as to what sort of an agency it is, the record is silent. However, this Court will take judicial notice of the fact that a penal institution, commonly known as “Umstead Youth Center,” authorized under and by virtue of Chapter 297 of 1949 Session Laws, was established at Camp Butner, and is maintained by the State.
Turning then to the 1949 Act, codified as Article 3A of Chapter 148 of General Statutes of North Carolina, it is seen that the General Assembly authorized and empowered the State Hospital Board of Control “to convert the old ‘Prisoner of ‘War’ camp, located on its property at Camp Butner, into a modern prison camp or guard-house, with a capacity of one hundred (100) for the purpose of receiving and detaining such youthful and first term prisoners as may be sent it by the State Highway and Public Works Commission under such rules and regulations as may be jointly adopted by the State Highway and Public Works Commission and the North Carolina Hospitals Board of Control.” And the General Assembly declared in Section 2 of the Act (G.S. 148-49.2), that for the purposes of this act or article “a ‘youthful offender’ and a ‘first term offender’ is a person (1) who, at the .time of imposition of sentence, is less than 25 years of age, and (2) who has not previously served a term in any jail or prison.” Furthermore, in Section 3 (G.S. 148-49.3) the act described those received at the camp as “prisoners.” Therefore, it follows as a matter of law (1) that the State agency, or institution, at Camp Butner, at which a “youthful offender” or a “first term offender” is received, within the meaning of the act, is a prison, and (2) that the inmates thereof are prisoners detained there for the purpose for which it was created, and are not employees of the State of North Carolina. Indeed the word “employed,” in the sense it is used in G.S. 148-49.3, means to make use of the services of the '“prisoners,” and not in the sense of hiring them for wages.
It is contended by appellee that under rule of liberal construction the wording of -the Tort Claims Act is sufficiently broad to embrace the inmate in question as a State employee. However, this Court, in Bor *334 ders v. Cline, supra, speaking to tbe subject under a liberal construction of .the North Carolina Workmen’s Compensation Act to effectuate the legislative intent and purpose, to be ascertained from the wording of the act, declared that “the rule of liberal construction cannot be carried to the point of applying an act to employments not within its stated scope, or not within its intent or purpose, or of supporting a strained construction to include an occupation or employment not falling within it.” What is said there is applicable here. However, it is not here neeessai’y to pass upon the question as to rule of construction in a statute waiving immunity.
The case of Lyon & Sons v. Board of Education, 238 N.C. 24, 76 S.E. 2d, 553, cited and relied upon by appellee is distinguishable in factual situation from case in hand. There the basic claim, on which right of subrogation was predicated, was clearly within the purview of the Tort Claims Act.
Other authorities cited by appellee have been duly considered and, while persuasive, are not deemed controlling.
For reasons stated the judgment from which this appeal is taken is